The overarching vision of Bixby’s literacy program is to nurture children’s intrinsic joy for stories and foster the skills and practices that enable them to independently explore the worlds of literature and individual expression through writing.
Our curriculum introduces children to a wide variety of literary forms and narrative perspectives. It develops reading, writing, and communication skills, which are essential for sparking students’ curiosity by engaging with academic sources and the world. Students engage regularly with comprehension, fluency, and phonics instruction, as well as broad areas of content that build vocabulary and background knowledge in a wide variety of topics. The curriculum also gives students choice and agency in what they learn.
Sharing a Love of Stories – Throughout the school year, our Literacy team facilitates multi-grade interactions through our Global Read Aloud, Read Across America Day, and hosting our own Mock Caldecott Awards. This connection between the different grade levels helps facilitate intriguing discussions and gives our students a more in-depth learning experience.
Perspective Taking – Our literacy curriculum does a beautiful job showcasing stories that represent diverse perspectives and lives. These topics are integrated into student’s learning to help increase awareness of inequities and different cultures around us. An excellent example is our 2nd-grade literacy class, which studies the story of Cinderella in various cultures worldwide. They explore important questions like “How does the setting impact the story?” and “What can we learn from characters in traditional fairy tales?” These questions help students identify differences in the story from the classic fairytale. For example, identifying different characters or objects in the story, like a sarong vs gown, boat vs carriage, grandmother crocodile vs fairy godmother, etc. This is an essential part of our literacy curriculum that helps give our students the skills to succeed in the real world.
Family Partnership – Another unique aspect of our literacy curriculum is including families in our class learning. Our 1st-grade literacy class has surprise readers, generally parents of 1st-grade students, who come into the classroom and read to our children. Our literacy teachers keep families updated on the essential questions or prompts they use in class and send the language and implementation of the curriculum home with the students to practice with their families. Our 4th-grade literacy class presents their original poems to other students and families. Families are always welcome in the classroom and encouraged to participate in all aspects of their child’s education.
This year, we have started the Family Education Series, which consists of presentations from Bixby faculty and staff. Next Tuesday, October 24th, 2023, 6:00- 8:00 PM at Bixby School, the literacy team will host a Family Education Series on ways to support writing, spelling, and phonics skills at home. This education series aims to give families tangible tools to use at home. There will be three rotations where families can learn practices and activities that families can use at home to strengthen their phonics skills, spelling, and vocabulary skills. We hope to see you there!